WHITE HOUSE

Biden’s gun control executive order: what is it and when will it be announced?

In the wake of recent mass shootings, the White House is set to announce a series of measures regulating gun ownership and cracking down on the most dangerous firearms.

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Biden’s gun control executive order: what is it and when will it be announced?
KEVIN LAMARQUE REUTERS

On Thursday President Joe Biden is expected to announce a series of executive orders which aim to tighten restrictions on firearms ownership in the United States. The actions come in the wake of a series of mass shootings across the country, one of which saw ten people killed in Boulder, Colorado.

This represents the first real step towards greater gun control since Biden took office, but falls short of many activists’ hopes for his presidency.

Speaking after the mass shooting in Boulder, Biden promised action: "I don't need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common-sense steps that will save the lives in the future, and to urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to act.”

What new gun control actions will Biden introduce?

As well as public consensus that more needs to be done to restrict the availability of the more deadly weapons currently available, Biden has also faced mounting pressure from within his own caucus to act decisively. Last week more than 100 House Democrats wrote to the President, calling for him to better regulate the concealed assault-style firearms that were used in Boulder.

Although the official announcement is expected to come later today, POLITICO report that Biden will direct the Department of Justice to begin introducing background checks for buyers of so-called ghost guns (homemade or makeshift firearms that lack serial numbers) within 30 days.

The DOJ will also be instructed to introduce tighter regulation of concealed assault-style weapons within 60 days. The Department will be tasked with providing a new proposal for ‘red flag’ gun ownership legislation which would allow courts to order temporary confiscations of firearms if the owner is deemed to be a threat.

A new report will be carried out to study trends of firearm trafficking in the United States, the first of its kind since 2000, and five federal agencies will be asked to redirect federal money to initiatives aimed at preventing community violence.

Biden to name David Chipman in key firearms role

Another announcement expected later on Thursday will see Biden announce David Chipman as his nominee to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Chipman was a long-time former TFA agent himself and is expected to play a key role in Biden’s firearms policy.

Chipman is currently a senior policy advisors at Giffords, the gun control advocacy group led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who survived an assassination attempt in January 2012.

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee said of  Chipman’s impending nomination: “David has not only served on the front-lines in the fight against gun violence, he knows the policies of prevention backwards and forwards.”

He added: “ATF needs permanent leadership, having had only one Senate-confirmed director since 2006.”